Ben Brown and David Wiese are still going as Day Four opens. The former is 24 from 49, the latter 52 from 51. Another hundred runs and we give them a mighty target to chase.
If they skittle us they have an easy chase, with an eminently achievable target.
Wiese survives yet another lbw that looked stone dead. Not given. I’m going to give this umpire a snog at the end of this if we survive.
At 11:38am, Glamorgan take the new ball.
Around the same time, we cross the 330 mark.
De Lange has another lbw turned down against Wiese. It was uprooting off stump, but pitched a fraction of a millimetre outside the line.
327-6, 176 run lead, Wiese on 89 not out.
Next over, Brown follows his partner into the half century club. His 50 comes off 115 very responsibly played balls.
331-6, a lead of 180.
As Wiese edges into the nervous 90s, Brown plays a tired stroke, edging to Chris Cooke off the bowling of Ruairidh Smith. If we take any points out of this match, Brown’s 56 from 129 will be right at the heart of it. 341-7.
Wiese puts us back on the up and up with his century. He spatters Daniel Douthwaite for a boundary and that’s his ton. 102 off 137. A superb piece of pressure batting. 349-7, a lead of 198
Next over, it’s Aaron Thomason’s chance to survive an lbw shout. He does and the lead tips over 200. 354-7.
We arrive at lunch. The score is 373-7, a lead of 222 – double Nelson.
So, here’s the thing: we need to win. At the moment, Glamorgan have 6 bonus points to our 2. But they have time to chase 222. We need to bat on for a bit and then skittle them. It’s a lot to ask.
Fourth ball after lunch, Timm van der Gugten somewhat takes the decision out of our hands by clean bowling Thomason for 7. 374-8
Will Beer scores a handy 6, but soon chips to Cooke off van der Gugten once again.
394-9, 242 the lead.
Last man out is Wiese – but it’s a no ball! I scream with a laughter that echoes around Cardiff.
Will Sheffield, however, is not so lucky. He snicks off Smith, Cooke catches and he’s gone for 11.
We’re all out for 423, a lead of 272. It’s something of an understatement to say things are better now than on day two and the humiliation of the follow on.
David Wiese is cheered to the rafters by the away fans and politely applauded by the home crowd. His 145 not out took 191 balls and was the knock of a true giant.
I lob him a bottle of sunscreen and tell him to get his bowling boots on.
The chase is on.
Glamorgan’s Second Innings:
Sheffield and Thomason open the bowling. We tweak our plans, and try and starve David Knowles and Nick Selman of runs. We cross our fingers that this also forces them to chase and then throw away their wickets.
It sort of works. After 8 overs, they’re 8-0.
At tea, they’re 33-0. We lead by 239.
I bring on Will Beer and Delray Rawlins. This has the effect of upping the run rate for them, but Beery boy makes the breakthrough. Selman gone for 40, caught Brown, bowled Beer.
71-1. 201 to get.
Knowles survives a stone cold lbw by Beer. It turns out I don’t love this umpire, just want to pay for his eye tests.
We keep plugging away. Eventually, Wiese bowls the slower one to Marnus Labuschagne. His caught and bowled is embarrassing. I love it. Gone for 16 off 50. 112-2.
They need 160 in 15 minutes. We’re going to get our draw.
We do. They end the day 131-2.
The draw gives us 7 points, but also gives Glamorgan 11. We’ve reduced the battle but lost the war.
Those 11 points push Glamorgan top and see us remain mired in sixth. We need 61 points just to equal Middlesex in second. The good news is our next match is against Nottinghamshire who are seventh and, therefore by definition, one of only two teams worse than us.
I’m away for a pint and sulk.